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Rail News: Kansas City Southern

Kansas City Southern de México forms velocity committee to help boost train speed

Lately, Kansas City Southern de México S.A. de C.V. (KCSM) has been registering improvements in several operating metrics. Year-over-year car cycle time is 17 percent faster, total car inventory is down 14 percent and average system velocity is up 22 percent. And since June 2005, dwell time per car has dropped 36 percent.

To improve operations, the railroad recently made infrastructure, customs and blocking changes at Sanchez Yard, revised its transportation service plan and established a new crew change point at Leal outside of Monterrey. Now, KCSM is taking another step aimed at improving service metrics — especially train speed — even more.

The railroad recently created a velocity committee, led by KCSM Director of Operations Manuel Zulaica, that will meet monthly to review system velocity, car inventory and system dwell time. Committee members also will monitor the progress of cross-functional subcommittees comprising customer service, transportation, engineering, mechanical, fleet management and border operations. The subcommittees will establish measurements that benchmark current railway performance so KCSM can adjust operations to increase velocity.

“As system-wide velocity improves, so does service to customers and asset utilization,” said KCSM officials in a prepared statement, adding that higher train speeds also help reduce expenses.

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More News from 3/27/2006